Articles of Speculation: The Los Angeles Chargers and the Philip Rivers conundrum


The Los Angeles Chargers 2019 season is finally over. What’s next? That is the big question when talking about the Chargers. This is a big offseason for the team, Many decisions will be made in the coming weeks and months.

Through the coming weeks I will be “playing” general manager of the Chargers. I will lay out decisions that need to be made about players and personnel. This is and all will be for fun. Nothing that I write is meant to be taken too seriously.

I write to start conversations, nothing more. With that being said, let’s begin. From here forward I will be writing as the GM of the Chargers.

State of the franchise: Now that the 2019 season is complete it is time to make some hard decisions. Next year is an important one for the future of this franchise. Steps taken to embed this team in the hearts of Los Angeles have pretty much failed. We must get this offseason right. (More on the state of the franchise in a future article.)

The big decision: What to do about the quarterback position? Philip Rivers is a free agent. He is free to sign with any team in the NFL. That being said he has made it clear he wishes to return to the Chargers in 2020.

This may be the biggest decision of the offseason. What decision is made could have repercussions throughout the NFL. It is not an easy decision to make.

Scenario one, let Rivers walk. Go all-in on drafting a quarterback of the future. We hold the sixth pick in the NFL draft but there are two quarterback-needy teams with the first and fifth picks. Cincinnati and Miami, respectively. Joe Burrow is considered the best option and will most assuredly be gone by the time we are on the clock.

Interestingly enough, the New York Giants hold the fourth overall pick. (Some may remember the Giants were involved in a certain 2004 trade.) A trade for the fourth pick would allow us to leapfrog Miami and hopefully take the second-best quarterback option. This is a risky scenario as Miami could easily make a trade to then leapfrog us. If this is the option chosen it may be best to wait until the draft is occurring to make any trade.

A new regime in Washington could muddle up everything. If the Redskins new personnel are not sold on Dwayne Haskins as their quarterback of the future, then they may be in the market to draft a quarterback as well. The Redskins own the second pick in the 2020 NFL draft.

If we go all-in on drafting a replacement then we must be prepared to move up in the draft.

Scenario 2, sign Rivers to a team-friendly one or two year deal. Keep Rivers around with the intention of him mentoring a young quarterback. To do this correctly we would still need to draft a quarterback at the top of the first round.

Scenario 3, let Rivers walk and sign a mid-level free agent. Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston are both expected to be available in the coming weeks. Both or either may benefit from a change in scenery. Let’s not forget that it was only in 2015 that both Winston and Mariota were the top two quarterback prospects in the draft.

Scenario 4, sign a big-name free-agent quarterback, maybe Tom Brady? This is the one that has had people buzzing for months now. There are many who would absolutely love to see Brady as a lightning bolt.

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This would also be a very expensive option. Where it will sell a lot of tickets for kickoff 2020, what about after that? Can Brady or another aging but capable option hold the franchise up and lead us to glory? If we bring in another aging quarterback it should be impressed upon him that his role is a transitional one.

These are just some of the decisions that the general manager of the Chargers must face. There are many more to come in the coming weeks. But just days after the 2019 season has ended this is what is on my mind.

*I will continue to write the Articles of Speculation all offseason. Again keep in mind that these articles are for fun. I will expand on this topic and others in the coming weeks. I hope you, the reader, enjoy this series.